Engineering

Title: Saving Lives, Saving Money: the costs and benefits of achieving safe roads

Organisation: RAC Foundation & EuroRAP
Date uploaded: 5th April 2011
Date published/launched: April 2011

This report looks at how 6,000 lives could be saved in Britain's roads over the next 10 years, if a fraction of the money spent on road maintenance was used more effectively.

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This report looks at how 6,000 lives could be saved in Britain's roads over the next 10 years, if a fraction of the money spent on road maintenance was used more effectively.

The first section of Saving Lives, Saving Money examines, using published research, the costs of road crashes to the economy, and where those costs fall. It reviews the extent to which these costs – for central and local government and public authorities such as the NHS and emergency services – are understood. It reviews the costs borne by households and industry, and examines insurance industry data.

The second section reviews how road and transport schemes are evaluated and the rates of return that are expected, and those actually achieved. It describes how the scale of ambition has changed in leading countries as the potential returns from adopting a systematic approach to casualty reduction are understood.

The third section maps the network of roads on which high crash costs are concentrated, and which could be efficiently targeted. It analyses and ranks the crash cost for each English region, Scotland and Wales, and tabulates the costs of crashes on main roads for which particular road authorities have a responsibility to provide visible ‘crash cost centres’.

The fourth section proposes, for national discussion, economically rational levels of safety that could and should be achieved for Britain’s main road network. These benchmark levels of safety balance the cost of carrying out effective programmes to improve the safety detailing of the infrastructure against the benefits from preventing death and injury. The result is an affordable, nationally significant, rational programme for the period 2011-2020 with value for money well in excess of most public programmes. The proposed programme would represent a significant contribution from the UK toward the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, which will launch worldwide on 11 May 2011.

For more information contact:
Elizabeth Box
T: 020 7747 3448

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